Posted: May 30, 2013 3:06:17 PM PDT
The Bellingham City Council is considering an ordinance banning the use and possession of all consumer fireworks within Bellingham city limits. A public hearing on the proposed ordinance is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, June 3 in Bellingham City Council Chambers.
A draft ordinance banning all consumer fireworks was reviewed by the City Council on Monday, May 20. In accordance with state law, any new regulations approved by the Council that are more restrictive than the state fireworks law (70.77 RCW) would take effect one year after adoption. Therefore, if the Council adopts a comprehensive fireworks ban in June 2013, the ban would not be effective until June 2014.
Current regulations in Bellingham allow the use of some "consumer fireworks" each year on Dec. 31, Jan. 1 and July 4, and prohibit their use at other times. Fireworks referred to as “consumer fireworks” that are legal in the City of Bellingham are those sold at fireworks stands licensed by the City, and include devices commonly known as sparklers, morning glory, ground spinners, helicopters, parachutes, cone and fountains, roman candles, and wheels. The ordinance under consideration proposes to replace these regulations with a total fireworks ban.
It is already illegal to possess or discharge firecrackers, bottle rockets, missile and sky rockets, throughout Washington state except on tribal lands. Additionally other exploding devices -- such as cherry bombs, M-80s and larger explosives, improvised devices such as pipe or tennis ball bombs, and/or legal fireworks that have been altered in any way -- are illegal anywhere under state and federal law, including on tribal lands.
For more information or to provide written comments, contact the City Council Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-778-8200.
Video of May 20 Public Safety Committee meeting (Fireworks discussion 23 minutes into the video)
Video of May 20 Bellingham City Council meeting (Fireworks discussion 176 minutes into the video)
Bellingham fireworks regulations: Bellingham Municipal Code 10.24.130
State fireworks regulations: Washington State Patrol, Office of the State Fire Marshal